Unilever North America accelerates its plastics-reduction plans

Unilever North America accelerates its plastics-reduction plans

April 11, 2019
Press Release: Unilever North America

Unilever North America is picking up the pace on recycled content use through several new initiatives

Unilever North America president Amanda Sourry yesterday announced plans to accelerate and expand the company’s plastics commitments at the Walmart Global Sustainability Milestone Meeting. The three-part plan provides better choices for plastic packaging, adds clear recycling instructions on pack, and launches a shopper education program in partnership with Walmart.

“We know that the response from the consumer goods industry is critical in determining the speed that positive change takes place around plastic packaging, and using less, better, or no plastics is a priority at Unilever,” Sourry said.

Globally, Unilever has set ambitious plastic packaging goals, and these will be accelerated in North America with three significant packaging initiatives.

The Unilever North America announcements include:

  • Reaching 50% recycled content in plastic packaging this year. By the end of 2019, 50% of the plastic used in Unilever North America packaging will come from post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. This move gives consumers a better choice for plastic packaging. It reduces virgin plastic in packaging, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates an end-market for recycled packaging in North America;
  • Adding ‘How2Recycle’ labels on all packaging by 2021. Recognizing the widespread confusion about the complex recycling system, clear recycling instructions will be added to packaging for its entire mass-market portfolio by the end of 2021. Unilever has been working with How2Recycle to add clear recycling labels and will now standardize its use on all packaging in North America;
  • Partnering with Walmart on ‘Bring it to the Bin’ shopper education program. Unilever and Walmart are working in partnership to create in-store and online consumer education moments around recycling. The program will incentivize and educate customers about recycling all packaging, including products used in the bathroom, when it launches later this year.

“These Unilever initiatives are important steps, but we can’t create a circular economy for plastic packaging in isolation,” Sourry added. “We need collective action to tackle the problem at the source by working with forward-thinking companies like Walmart, advocating for systemic change in government and recycling facilities, working closely with plastics suppliers, and educating consumers. Only together will we answer the urgent call made by the plastics issue we are facing.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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